Monday, 5 September 2011

Review: Deception by Lee Nichols

Deception (Haunting Emma #1) by Lee Nichols
Published: September 5th 2011 (UK)
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Goodreads description:

When Emma Vaile’s parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip, she’s left all alone in her creepy old house. But her brother’s very cute best friend, Bennett Stern—Emma’s knight in J. Crew armor—arrives unexpectedly to whisk her away to New England. There, Emma settles into his family’s museum-like mansion and enrolls at an old-fashioned private school. She quickly finds friends in the popular legacy crowd at Thatcher and spends her free time crushing on Bennett.

But the eerie visions she’s been hiding from everyone have gotten worse. Emma has memories of Thatcher that she can’t explain—it’s as if she’s returning home to a place she’s never been. Finally, Emma confides in Bennett and learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. Bennett brought Emma to Thatcher to protect her, but now he needs her help tracking an other-worldly murderer

My tho

I loved this book!! So much gets squashed into its pages, it's so well paced and imaginative. Lee Nichols is not scared to create action and heartbreak. I loved the concept of the Ghostkeepers, it was original and really cool. Some of the plot elements were really intense and stuff I wouldn't expect to happen so early on  did happen. This book definitely does not suffer from first book syndrome, and any set up that was there felt more realistic because you were learning alongside Emma. I felt the action scenes were a little anti-climatic and lacklustre, but the rest was excellent. 

The writing was fairly standard for a YA book, enjoyable and it definitely pulled me into the story, but nothing stood out either positively or negatively.

 Onto the characters; Emma was what is now a typical YA heroine. Doesn't think much of herself but all the boys are in love with her, nothing special and yet the most special etc...which annoyed me a little. I just felt such a great book deserved more than a cookie-cutter heroine. I also wasn't a fan of Bennett, he felt personality-less and much older than his actual age and not a great love interest at all. Such a shame that the main characters weren't up to par, however the supporting cast was truly amazing. The resident ghosts were spectacular; I especially liked the Rake and Nicholas but all of them had distinct voices and personalities and I loved the way they interacted with each other and with Emma. My absolute favourite character was Harry for sure, he was so eccentric and hilarious. 

The plot as I mentioned earlier was jampacked, I did not feel bored for one second. I adored the main plotline of Emma growing into her ghostkeeping powers, but also the side stories of what happened at school, and the love stories there. I loved the theme of how important family and friends are, how Emma needs a support system and actually does miss and need her family. 

I have to give this 4/5 because I just wasn't feeling Emma or Bennett much but this book is truly spectacular, one of the best ghost based YA's I've read. 


  1. Oh wow, sounds great! It's too bad about the characters though. I'm glad the plot is up to par. Your review just made me want to go out and buy this book. Well done. :)

  2. I loved this one too! I agree, the concept of Ghostkeepers was awesome. It's a shame you didn't love Bennett, but glad you enjoyed it overall. Great review! :)

  3. Oh, I love the Rake. It's a shame he wasn't a potential love interest, as he and Emma seemed to gel so much better together than Bennett did. Definitely not a fan of Bennett in the second book either...

    ComaCalm's Corner

  4. I love that even though you're not a big fan of the two main characters, this book still managed to woo you over with plot and secondary characters. I just started reading it (only about a chapter or so in) and you've made me even more excited to go further now! Can't wait to meet those awesome ghosts :D Love your review!

  5. Hmm...doesn't sound like a must read! PS. Thanks for stopping by my blog:)

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

  6. Great review. I've been interested in this book for a little while . . . I'm always a sucker when it comes to ghost stories.

  7. I like hearing about YA where family is important; sometimes it feels like YA heroines must be either orphaned or stuck with horrible parents. :)

    The ghost-based aspect interests me as well, so I'll be checking the library for this one.

  8. Ahhh, this is another series I really need to start on! I've heard really good things about it. Sorry to hear the main character was kind of cookie-cutter. But glad that the story was great!

  9. I loved this one! And how could I forget about the Rake?! But I agree, the plot and side characters were everything in this book :D Great review!

  10. Yay a ghost book! I'll look into this one for sure. Lovely review.

  11. Glad to hear how much you liked this book. I haven't read any of Lee Nichols' books as of yet, but this one has caught my eye.

  12. I'm going to have to get this series- these books sound great! Thanks for the review!

  13. Sounds very interesting. It's hard to make a cookie-cutter heroine stand out, although as a former teen with typical teen insecurities, I like the idea of a girl like me starring in an adventure :-)

  14. Ooh you have me intrigued. I will definitely move this to the top of the TBR pile. =)


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